The U.S. economy added no net new jobs in August, the Labor Department announced Friday, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged from July at 9.1 percent.
The August jobs report was far worse than expected; the predicted figure was an addition of about 70,000 new jobs, the BBC reports.
In addition to the unexpectedly weak August jobs numbers, the figures for the previous two months have been revised down to show weaker jobs growth.
The Labor Department now says that in July 85,000 jobs were created, down from 117,000 in the earlier estimate, while the number of jobs added in June was revised downwards from 46,000 to 20,000.
Employment numbers were the weakest since September 2010, according to the Associated Press.
Politico says that Republicans have immediately gone on the attack against President Barack Obama, who is facing mounting skepticism over his handling of the economy.
Global stock markets had lagged all day Friday ahead of the August jobs report, and they fell further after its release, the BBC says.
The jobs report also sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting on the market’s opening, while U.S. government bonds rallied.
There are high expectations for a major jobs speech to be delivered by President Barack Obama next Thursday, during which he is expected to outline a new plan for boosting the economy and creating jobs.
The August jobs report could also push the Federal Reserve to take further action on interest-rate and other monetary policies, the Los Angeles Times says.